Purdue professor shares thoughts on his Nobel share

October 21, 2007

Kevin Gurney, associate director of Purdue University's Climate Change Research Center, is one of about 2,500 people with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who will share the Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore.

Gurney is a member of the IPCC, which commissions assessments of global climate change from hundreds of experts in the field.

Question: How does it feel to have a share of the Nobel Prize?

Answer: I'm just proud to be one tiny part in the big thing.

We're part of an organization. It's the ultimate shared honor. It's our collective efforts that deserve the recognition.

Q: What was your part in the IPCC report?

A: I was a contributing author on this round and I was a reviewer in the last round. We put out these multi-volume sets on the literature. We leave out the opinions.

I was writing about the linkages between the climate and the carbon cycle. It interacts with climate in a very complicated way.

Q: What is next for the IPCC?

A: We pick up the pieces and start again. These reports take five or six years to compile.

I hope to continue, if they deem my contribution worthy and necessary. I will continue to help in any way I can.

Q: Do you get the Nobel Prize for a day, like hockey players get the Stanley Cup for a day?

A: (Laughing) Not that I'm aware of. It's not a bad idea.

Q: Will you put the Nobel Prize on your resume?

A: I haven't done that. People have suggested I do. I'll see what my colleagues do first.

-- Brian Wallheimer/ bwallheimer@journalandcourier.com

Kevin Robert Gurney

Associate Professor
School of Life Sciences

Arizona State University

PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501
email: kevin.gurney@asu.edu
phone: (480) 965-4556